I joke around with a couple of foodie friends that on my tombstone, I want it to read “He loved shrimp.” It is from this passion, I offer you Gonokami-seisakujo (五ノ神製作所) a well-heralded shrimp tsukemen joint in Shinjuku. The lush, bisque-like broth is made from “freshly selected sweet shrimp (amaebi)”, pork and chicken fat, and fine ground up tiny sakura ebi. The effect is a slightly sweet, potently shrimpy, umami-bomb of a dipping broth. While many seafood based ramen broths can yield sweetness, they will also imbue fishiness, sometimes a brininess, and if katsuo is used in quantity, smokiness. Not so with this creamy, balanced shrimp version. Mind you, this is not necessarily a salty upfront assault to the palate like the quite visually striking reddish hue might imply. So while bisque-like in mouthfeel, the flavor intensity comes in more subtle form- which is just as well as the noodles are excellent. House made and completely unique, they are thick gauge, light brown, and flecked with some sort of grain. Wheat? Rye? Soba? Not sure. But they serve as the perfect vehicle for the broth.
They offer three broths- the basic shrimp, a shrimp miso, and a shrimp tomato. The later version comes with a bright dab of fresh pesto on the noodles and a slice of bread…Hmm, would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when they sketched out that one…My photo is of the regular shrimp broth.
This shop, with a cool tiled interior and young staff, is located on a back street off of Meiji Dori one block from Takashimaya. It’s a short walk from either Shinjuku or Shinjuku 3-chome Stations. They are open year-round and until 9pm. Expect to wait in line. BTW, “Gonokami-seisakujo” means “5-Gods Factory” or something like that.….Oh, they will top off your soup for you for free- not add simple broth or hot water- the actual completed soup. Never seen this before. Great service.